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Saturday, 2 November, 2002, 22:12 GMT
Public 'tired' of talent show pop
Gareth Gates and Will Young
Gareth Gates and Will Young found success with Pop Idol
The majority of the people in the UK have become fed-up with "manufactured" musicians created by TV talent shows such as Popstars, a survey has suggested.

Sixty-seven per cent of those questioned said they wanted an end to the kind of programmes that produced Will Young, Gareth Gates and Hear'Say.

Virgin Radio commissioned the poll for which 1,002 people aged 16 and above were interviewed over two days in October.

The new generation of TV talent shows began in earnest with Popstars in early 2001, followed by Pop Idol earlier this year.

The latest manifestations of the genre - the BBC's Fame Academy and Popstars: The Rivals on ITV1 - are currently in full swing.

Fame Academy
Fame Academy is not proving a big ratings winner

Paul Jackson, programme director at Virgin Radio, said the research painted a damning picture of the future of TV talent shows and the success of their winners.

"This confirms what I think we all knew, that Britain is sick of these talentless, over-styled kids, who don't know what a chord is, using TV series to propel their second-rate cover versions into the chart," Mr Jackson said.

Talent

Popstars winners Hear'Say were an instant hit among the young record-buying audience, who propelled them to number one with their first singles.

The same has been true for Pop Idol winner Will Young and the contest's runner-up Gareth Gates.

Yet, the results of Virgin's research suggest that even among their target audience, TV talent shows have lost their appeal.

Sixty-three per cent of teenagers said music stars created on TV had become too prevalent.

The survey's results also suggested that 82% of youngsters thought more support should be given to real music talent.

Fame Academy was expected to be a big ratings winner for the BBC but it has struggled to capture an audience.

Last week it drew its lowest rating of 3.3 million viewers - a third of the number tuning in to Emmerdale on ITV1 at the same time.

Last Friday's expulsion show attracted a more robust 5.1 million viewers but it was still beaten by Celebrity on ITV1 which had 6.8 million people watching.

Popstars: The Rivals attracted an audience of 6.8 million for its early evening slot on Saturday.

Cruel

Earlier this week, pop singer Robbie Williams attacked TV talent shows for making entertainment out of the cruel treatment of hopeful, young stars.

Williams said the way contestants were evicted on shows like Popstars: The Rivals and Fame Academy was ruthless.

Friday night saw another expulsion from the Fame Academy on BBC One.

Pippa Fulton, 20, was voted off the show after being put on probation by the programme's tutors.

And on Saturday, 19-year-old Emma Beard and 18-year-old Chloe Staines were voted off ITV1 will screen Popstars: The Rivals.


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